A straightforward story of new France at the close of the seventeenth century. The hero is a French officer sent from Quebec to Frontenac on an important mission, and incidentally charged with the escort of a young woman. The journey up the river provides a sufficiency of adventure to fill the book and keep its readers wide awake all the time.
enard grow from a roistering lieutenant into a rigid captain, and he knew his temper too well to mind the flicks of banter. But before the soldier had passed from earshot, he called after him.
Menard turned back. "What now, good Father? A mass for my soul, or a last absolution before I plunge into my term of dissolute idleness?"
"Neither, my son," replied the priest, smiling. "Is any of your idleness to be shared with another?"
"I am bringing a picture to the College."
"I have no money, Father. I should be a sorry patron."
"No, no, M'sieu; it is not a patron I seek. It is the advice of one who has seen and judged the master work of Paris. The painting has been shown to none as yet."
"But you have seen it?"
"Yes, yes, I have seen it. Come with me, M'sieu; it is at my room."
They walked together to the cell, six feet long by five wide, where Father Claude slept when in Quebec. It was bare of all save a hard cot. A bale, packed i